What we talked about at Meet the Locals

Wednesday, 27 Feb 2019

A month of Meet the Locals events around the country has come and gone - presentations were made, panels conducted, and connectors connected. The expanded Saturday format gave the industry guests more time to chat with attendees, so we asked them to share with us a selection of the insightful questions, answers and topics discussed.

Here’s what came up in conversation.

1. What was the most interesting/ eye-opening question you were asked at Meet the Locals? 

Claire Mooney, triple j Unearthed
The most frequent question I got asked was how many songs get uploaded to Unearthed / how many songs do we moderate. I think the most interesting answer to the questions was why we have to listen to each and every track from start to finish because of ABC editorial policies. 

Emma Coyle, Sundial Productions
I was asked a lot about government funding, and how to be a strong candidate for grants. It seemed to me that securing funding was a rather large priority for artists who maybe haven’t spent enough time on creative development and live performance. 

Zane Dean, Fresh 92.7
The most eye-opening thing I found was how many artists are intimidated by approaching radio stations, blogs, and other outlets which are there to support them! I completely understand how it can be intimidating to ask for airplay at first, but once you get started, it’s really not that scary. They’re just people working in this industry like you!

Viv Mellish, GYROstream
Quite a few people asked me about the difference between distribution and publishing. Many of them were thinking about 'publishing' in the sense of the book world which is a LOT different. It was great to be able to explain the different ways they could collect royalties from their music globally. 

2. What is an issue/opportunity/idea in 2019 that songwriters need to know?

Joel Siviour, Falcona
The value of good publicity is highly underrated. It usually takes a few encounters for your music to connect with someone, so the more opportunity you have to get it in front of someone the better! 

Tom Gordon, Music SA
I feel like more songwriters and professional artists need to be aware of the PPCA, in the same way that they are more widely aware of APRA AMCOS. Extra streams of income is the pathway to sustainability as an original, contemporary musician. 

Viv Mellish, GYROstream
Have a release plan and timeline in place to maximise the impact of your music release. Attendees at Meet the Locals were surprised that it takes up to five working days for your music to go live on streaming platforms. Having a strategy for rolling out your music is almost as important as the music itself. 

Luke Penman, play / pause / play
Don't forget about local media! There's plenty of local outlets that will support you purely you're a local too. Research them, get in touch with them and find out how you can submit your music for consideration. 

Elizabeth Reid, Music Development Office
For South Australians, our Jon Lemon Artist in Residence program is expanding to allow new categories for collaborative songwriting and composing. This is an opportunity for artists to apply for up to $2k to work on a collaborative project with other artists, producers, visual/performance artists, or even filmmakers, animators and game developers. The next round closes 8 March, apply here.

3. What is your top tip for a developing or emerging artist who is trying to get a break?

Tom Gordon, Music SA
Industry, social media, marketing, etc is important, but none of it matters unless you have a good song! Make sure to spend time on your songwriting skills! 

Claire Mooney, triple j Unearthed
Most importantly, look after your mental health, do what you are passionate about and makes you happy, don’t hold on to things, build that fan base and connect with your audience. Learn and grow as much as you can, believe in yourself, say yes to opportunities, but only if you believe they’ll truly benefit you and your career.  

Emily Tulloch, Nexus Arts and COMA
Go out and see live music, and talk to musicians at gigs! It’s so important to hear what other artists are creating, and it helps you to feel that you’re part of a larger network. Don’t work completely in isolation. Great art rarely comes from a bubble. See other bands, go to exhibitions, see shows of any nature wherever you can. and remember that when you pay a door charge, you’re helping other musicians pay their rent and keep making art.

Joel Siviour, Falcona
Reaching out to industry people with a friendly ‘hello’ proactively before pitching for something will help get on their radar long term, instead of reactively pitching straight away after a potential opportunity arises. Having that prior rapport is a huge advantage.

Emma Coyle, Sundial Productions
Co-writing. It’s not new by any means but it never gets old to encourage young writers to challenge themselves by co-writing with others and honing their own skills as a writer in the process. It also exposes an artist to other musicians, teams and audiences and builds a strong foundation for any emerging artist. 

Francesca de Valence, I Heart Songwriting Club
Songwriters need to know that songs are at the centre of their career and that writing songs is the most crucial ongoing habit that a songwriter can practice. Today it's really up to the artist to be everything in their own career, and we understand that songwriting can easily fall by the wayside - not enough time, not in the right headspace, so many other things to do... Despite this feeling, the songs need to be written. PLUS: APRA AMCOS members can join the I Heart Songwriting community via a special discounted offer. Find out more.

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